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  • The Exile Flies Home to Trout Hall, Jamaica and: Seaview Gardens, Jamaica and: Children with Williams Syndrome Have No Racial Biases and: Gil Town, Jamaica
  • Rayon Lennon (bio)

The Exile Flies Home to Trout Hall, Jamaica

I fly down and get off a countrybus to stand on the bridge, underwhich I was baptized at nine, tryingto interpret the sunny language of the riverof voices in the air above thewater-hugged rocks and heat-ripenedbreasts of girls who look up, hurlingstony insults my way. So I cross,follow a yellow butterfly into the sunny heartof town, where the colorfulwooden shop fronts are littered with the idle voicesof half-naked men, leering at school girls in baby-blue uniforms, while their wives labor in the surroundingugly fields of Mr. Sharpe, the good Englishman,who built and named this town of no trouts Trout Hall,who once a year deploys his planesto spray his neighbors and green alligator-skinneduglies, hybrid child of the orange, grapefruitand tangerine. Everybody knows his slogan: “The Afflictionis only skin deep, the beauty is in the eating.” Overthe cardboard church even the pigeons sound gospeland I am moved by brooks as broodingas the Bible; traffic flows the wrong wayand the English missionaries’ sun-blocking peachBaptist church is still empty, except for the cowschewing mouthfuls of shitty grass and the cricketers crying, “Out”as wheezing, rust-colored cars line up to cross the pocked faceof the palm-sheltered bridge. A divinewind blows out the sun as I slip into a crowdedbar and down Red Stripes until I forgetwho I am and announce to God that I amtrying to write a fiction greater than God,a poetry to define our world.

Seaview Gardens, Jamaica

They are not graves, these linesof low brickhouses built upagainst each other like lovers. At nightgunmen run track meets on our complainingzinc. Our house is the height of me. Somewhere,the courthouse the color of our mother, the EnglishQueen. Skeletal branches finger the emptybowl of sky. Discarded lotto tickets find themselvesfreely picked up and carried off dumps of gravel [End Page 762] by a surly black breeze. Across us the black faceof a house lined with bloodcoily vines,huge pines hanging low with chains of moon-white vines as white as the drug-whiteropes of chains pulled off the vain necksof dead druglords; another house boredwith as many bullets as stars.Behind, a house painted a distant lawn-greenwhere a Rasta, praying in its shadow, cannotsee bags of helicoptered U. N. rice raining in the heartof Ethiopia, on Haile’s graves. From a rowin the distance Bounty Killer’svoice shoots up from a sound system, “poorpeople fed up…,” then dies back downas black trees in the commons lose their wings.A yellow coat of birds lift up a hill and I thinkhow well I can see when I’m wearing my newglasses. There are no signs but the name giventhis project in school is Seaview Gardens,though from here you can’t seethe full black page of the CaribbeanSea, ‘cause factories like Good-year and their snaking trenches surround us. Andnot many flowers here neither, not on the former dumpwe live, though our rain-bowed houses are coloredwith the blowing, cracked heads of daises, hibiscus, sunflowers—colorful as foreign wigs on coughin’ girlswith cream-mated faces dubbedLilly and Rosetta, themselves plantedby the bloody issue of the trench, deepin midnight heels, waving, calling out,to a staggering number of soldier-nicked,alcohol-fueled men as the Godof England shovels down dust-colored clouds from back mountainsto bury us, it seems,and the moon is a windowin our dark coffin, we feel.

Children with Williams Syndrome Have No Racial Biases

Title of Yahoo! article

You think the world is beautifuluntil you read about kids battlinga syndrome that makes themdead to racism. The N-word hasn’t lost...


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pp. 762-764
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